Sports

Feel the 'Blues'

Champs JC, STATHS roll into 'quarters'

Thursday, October 19, 2017

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Defending champion Jamaica College (JC) showed their true mettle by trouncing Charlie Smith High 3-0 and advanced to the quarter-finals of the ISSA/FLOW Manning Cup 5-2 on aggregate yesterday.

In the second match of the triple- header at the Stadium East field, St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS) battled to a 0-0 draw with Camperdown High and advanced on the away goal rule after the tie ended 1-1 on aggregate.

In the curtain-raiser, with Charlie Smith having the advantage with the away goal rule from their 2-2 first leg draw, JC got the perfect start as Shaniel Thomas opened the scoring ramming home in the fourth minute. The tall striker then quickly doubled the advantage firing home a fierce left-footer in the 11th minute from just inside the box.

Norman Campbell put the game to bed tapping home from close range after Thomas lobbed the onrushing goalkeeper Tuisane Edwards in the 27th minute.

JC, whose title was on the line following their 2-2 draw with Charlie Smith, was the home team for the first leg, so Charlie Smith held the advantage with the two away goals and just needed to draw 0-0 or 1-1 to knock out the champions.

JC, unbeaten in the Manning Cup since 2011, showed that despite their indifferent form, they will be a force to be reckoned with and remain the team to beat.

Head coach Miguel Coley was satisfied with the victory.

“I heard that the last game was our home game, but at first it was confirmed that it was Charlie Smith's home game, so even when we went 2-2 we tried to keep the ball and didn't push too many persons forward, “ he explained.

Meanwhile, Charlie Smith coach Jerome Waite believes the decision by his captain to kick into the strong wind proved critical.

“Congratulations, to the winning team, I think they were the better team on the day,” he said.

He continued: “I didn't realise that my captain won the toss and surprisingly he chose to kick against the breeze. But it's a learning process for the youngsters because it would have been a different ball game if he played with the breeze.”

Meanwhile, STATHS conntinued their undefeated run playing to a goalless draw with Camperdown, but advanced to the quarter-finals based on the away goal rule.

It was a game of few chances, and although Camperdown came at them late in the second half, STATHS were never really flustered and had the game under control.

Technical director Michael “Jah Mikes” Williams said it was a plus for the school to reach this far in the competition.

“It's great (as) we haven't lost a game since the Manning Cup started, so it's a plus for us... to advance is good because we are gaining confidence,” he noted.

With STATHS advancing, it shows the strength of their first-round group that included JC and Bridgeport High making it three teams into the last eight.

For Camperdown coach Christopher Bender, it was a disappointing end.

“I am disappointed with how it ended, but proud of how the players tried. I can't fault the effort,” said Bender.

— Howard Walker

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